Category Archives: Herbal Education

I wrote this article back in 2016, for Natural Herbal Living Magazine but I had to throw it up on the blog today because someone called goldenrod a weed and I felt like sticking up for one of my favorite fall ornamentals. I also wanted to share that you most likely aren’t allergic to goldenrod.  The pollen produced by goldenrod is quite large, heavy and sticky.  It is too heavy to become windblown and relies on insects to spread it.  It’s almost impossible for people to be exposed to the pollen aside from touching the plant. 

Whenever I think of goldenrod, I think of this poem by Clement Wood, that I found when writing my first monograph on the plant many years ago.

Coin of the Year
NOVEMBER, you old alchemist,
Who would have thought
You could turn the high arrogance of golden-rod To still plumes of silver?1

Today it seems odd to think of goldenrod as a plant of “high arrogance,” however thru the early part of the 20th century, our friend was held in much higher esteem. Continue reading

As you  might know,  I don’t write about indigenous North Americans’ use of  plants on this blog.  That is not my history to tell.   When I do write about the history of a new world plant, I first look at what was going on in the old world with alternate species and reason out how the new plant worked its way into that system.  Because that’s the system I know.

Most frequently what I have seen is that colonists harvested plants that looked like produce that was used back home and used “old world” receipts to cook with them and use them in medicine.  Then explorers and sailors wrote home about the new plant, it became trendy in Europe, and all of a sudden it was everywhere.  Sound familiar?

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